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Bedding the Baby Belly: A Sleep Guide for Pregnant Women

If there were a weightlifting championship for women, mommas-to-be would win all the categories, hands down. Baby bellies double up as darling dumbbells for expectant moms, serving as little spheres of sunshine. But despite their charm, they can also come in the way of daily activities you tend to take for granted. Bending, walking and sleeping may become long-drawn, calculated routines designed around your abdominal centrepiece.

If you’ve been losing out on sleep because your belly comes in the way, this guide is for you. Allow us to walk you through a few simple tips on how to sleep during pregnancy.

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Tip 1. Eat Dinner Early

If you’re used to tucking into your last meal of the day well into the night, be prepared to say hello to heartburn. Eating dinner just before you sleep may not let your body break your food down sufficiently, resulting in acid reflux. Enter, sleepless nights.

Tip 2. Lay On Your Side

By laying down on your side, you’ll notice that your breathing will automatically settle into a comfortable rhythm. Plus, this position will also alleviate any pressure on your womb and relieve your back from unnecessary tension. Interestingly, there is also evidence to suggest that favouring your left side over your right can boost nutritional and blood flow to your baby. Pick a pregnancy sleeping position that feels right to you.

Tip 3. Elevate Your Head

In these months leading up to your delivery, you’ll find that a pillow can make a wonderful companion on sleepless nights. Be sure to pick a firm pillow made of latex or memory foam and use it to rest your head and upper back. An elevation can ease your diaphragm and regulate your breathing mechanism. Also, pillows placed below your belly can serve as great bolsters, allowing you to slip into subtle layers of slumber.  

Tip 4. Drain Your Energy

If you can’t get yourself to fall asleep, it can be pointless to lay in bed, staring into a black abyss. Instead of hoping that your body will give in and transition to sleep mode, channel your wakefulness into mundane chores that would typically bore you beyond redemption. Load the washing machine, fold washed clothes or dust your cabinets. You can effectively drain your energy this way. Once you feel vented and unwound, ease yourself back into bed.

Tip 5. Tailor Your Bed

A comfortable bed holds the ability to absorb stress and pain from your body at the end of a long and draining day. As your body evolves, it’s important to add elements to your bed that can support your growing body and minimise insomnia during pregnancy. Pillows in an assortment of sizes, for instance, can work as excellent liveners for your body. There are some pregnant women who experience muscle soreness and severe back pain in the months leading up to their due date. The solution? A well-crafted body pillow.

The rolling curves of a body pillow hug an expectant mommy’s curves in snug folds, giving her big belly ample support. A body pillow also serves as an underprop for her sore back and tired head and is extremely versatile. It can even be repurposed into a breastfeeding pillow, back support or tiny bed after the birth of your baby.

Tip 6. Limit Your Naps

Afternoon siestas can be wonderful interludes before sunset, but sleeping too long can leave you feeling crabby and rob precious hours from your nighttime sleep schedule. Limit your naps to thirty minutes. Anything longer than that, and your body will descend into a deep sleep that will be difficult to rise out of. If you feel you need to rest more through the day, you’re more than welcome to, but make sure you split your naps into separate 30-minute segments.

Tip 7. Turn on the Fan

Pregnancy can be an invitation for hot flashes and increased body temperature. If you feel warm or clammy, your uneasiness may manifest as an inability to sleep. Experiment with the fan to see which speed suits you or turn the air conditioner on if the fan proves inadequate.  With this guide, go ahead and put yourself and your belly to bed.

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